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The History of Structural Glass

The History of Structural Glass

Glass has been a prominent feature in British architecture dating back to the late medieval period when the use of glass windows grew to near universality. 

Structural glazing is more of a modern architectural phenomenon that has been made possible by advances in glass technology and building techniques.

In contemporary building, because of ever-developing load-bearing potential, glass can be used in a number of ways that would have previously been considered impossible.

For this blog, Natralight will talk you through the history of structural glazing.

How Was Structural Glass Developed?

As with numerous developments in production and technology, this is a story of a variety of manufacturers, engineers and architects, which still continues to this day.

The earliest example of structural glazing is the glass block which was developed in the early 1900s to flood more natural light into industrial spaces. This material is load-bearing and used in a similar manner to masonry.

Over the past few decades, toughened or tempered glass has been used more in frameless glass features such as staircases, doors plus load-bearing floors and walls.

Glass lamination was then taken to another level of safety within the construction sector with incredible feats of load-bearing glass used more and more. This included the Willis Tower in Chicago, which had load-bearing glazing installed at 1353 feet!

Apple's corporate headquarters, which is affectionately known as 'the spaceship' is currently the largest glass-supported structure on the planet.

Get a No-Obligation Quote from Natralight

If you are considering adding structural glass, whether it is a frameless glazed roof or glass balustrades to your property; get in touch with Natralight for a free no-obligation quote.

We have also put together a handy FAQ section that can answer any questions you have about structural glazing.

If you would like a better idea of some of our previous work, please visit the Natralight Facebook page or our Instagram feed today.